Huge Florida mosquitoes: Mosquitoes around 20 times the size of the normal Florida variant will likely be back next year and possibly in greater numbers.
Huge, aggressive mosquitoes will likely be swarming across the Sunshine State over the summer.
The insects, Psorophora ciliata, also known as the galnipper, are about the size of a quarter. The species is “notoriously aggressive and has a painful bite,” reads a press release from the University of Florida.
Females lay their eggs on ground near the edges of ponds, streams, and other bodies of water that overflow during rains. Their eggs can be dormant for years and hatch when water hits them.
Galnipper eggs were essentially reactivated during last June’s Tropical Storm Debbie, which flooded much of Florida.
Phil Kaufman, an University of Florida associate professor of entomology, said earlier this week that it is unclear how abundant these mosquitoes will be. However, the university said that there will likely be a repeat of the “bumper crop” of the insects.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, given the numbers we saw last year,” said Kaufman in a news release. “When we hit the rainy cycle we may see that again.”
He added that a bite from a mosquito “really hurts, I can attest to that.”
As adults, galnippers will feed day and night, and can bite through clothing. Normal mosquitoes generally only feed from dawn to dusk, reported MyFoxOlrlando.com.
“It’s about the size of a quarter. … It’s about 20 times bigger than the sort of typical, Florida mosquito that you find,” Anthony Pelaez, with the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, told Fox.
“In an urban area, it’s not really their habitat, so we probably won’t see them in the city so to speak,” he Morse. “But if you live near a pasture-type of an area, a grassy area that floods, then that’s where you would see these mosquitos most likely.”
A positive thing one could say about the galnipper is that they don’t generally spread vector- or mosquito-borne illnesses to humans, including West Nile virus.
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